“What is the Spiritual Life?” (Randy Woodley)

I read these words from Dr. Rev. Randy Woodley; Dr. Woodley is a member of a First Nations tribe in North America and writes eloquently, simply, and gracefully about spirituality.

His words ring true with recovery and my own recovery journey and my own spiritual development.  I hope it helps you find some Connection, which is for me the ultimate ‘goal’ of spirituality – to connect with sobriety, sanity, self, and God as we experience God.

What is the spiritual Life? 
It is life itself, not what one does but how one goes about doing. Spirituality is flesh and blood walking on this earth in real time. It is the embodiment of our whole selves being present in the moment it occurs. Spiritual life is living daily with the full acceptance of everything around us as real and attachable to our being as it happens. To be un-spiritual is to ignore any aspect of our whole selves, in our whole context, on this whole earth. Spirituality is appreciating it all.

What is Spiritual Exercise?
Listening to others is a spiritual exercise. Not just what they are saying but how they are saying it. Why they are saying it. Why they are saying it to you. Hearing the voice in your head and silencing it so you can hear their voice and recognize what is happening at the moment around you as their words make sense to your heart. Listening to others means connecting with them and discovering what is happening between you at the time and being grateful for it all.

Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, Indigenous person and Public Theologian/Scholar

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“The Journey” (Mary Oliver)

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

-Mary Oliver, Dream Work (Atlantic Monthly Press)